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Does Smart Agriculture Go Downstream in the Supply Chain?


Abstract and Figures

Nowadays it seems to be imperative for smart farms to go downstream in the Supply Chain (SC) to supplement the revenues of their underlying product sales. Using the well-structured database of Eurostat Supply tables for EU-27, this study intends to verify what products and services the Agricultural sector is offering beyond its core business activity to diversify its portfolio. The findings demonstrate that Agriculture is going downstream in the SC, predominantly moving towards its traditional activities: food processing, agro-tourism, and recreation. Green energy is the newcomer. Smart farmers should innovate in the mainstream of their secondary activities, using the leverage of lucrative activities and rethinking their vertical integration.
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Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014 451
- Keywords: agricultural portfolio diversication, farmer choices, supply chain, growth and share matrix, supply tables,
secondary production -
University of Udine, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Section of Economics and
Landscape, Via delle Scienze 206, 33100 Udine, Italy
*Corresponding author:
Nowadays it seems to be imperative for smart farms to go downstream in the Supply Chain
(SC) to supplement the revenues of their underlying product sales. Using the well-structured da-
tabase of Eurostat Supply tables for EU-27, this study intends to verify what products the Agri-
cultural sector is offering beyond its core business activity to diversify its portfolio. The findings
demonstrate that Agriculture is going downstream in the SC, predominantly moving towards its
traditional activities: food processing, agro-tourism, and recreation. Green energy is the newcom-
er. Smart farmers should innovate in the mainstream of their secondary activities, using the lev-
erage of lucrative activities and rethinking their vertical integration.
452 Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014
Research on Food Supply Chain (FSC) entails
various difficulties. Prevailing among these is
the quantification of the production value ob-
tained by agriculture from outside its core ac-
tivities, such as from: food processing, accom-
modation and food services, wholesale and re-
tail, and other services. These concerns are gen-
eral problems that likewise involve every other
industry. When evaluations are done, they of-
ten appear to be very partial (being limited to a
specific product e.g. an organic one), unstruc-
tured (e.g. applying un-standardised and non-
homologated classifications), and suffering from
duplication (e.g. the turnover from direct sales
which is already included in the value of prima-
ry agricultural materials, as noted in KEAFSEY
et al. (2013). What is needed, therefore, is the
provision of a complete, standardised and cer -
tified database, without any duplication, spe-
cifically such as the one described hereafter.
Over the last 5 years, Eurostat has dissemi-
nated a new set of input-output tables, named
Supply and Use, in conformity with NACE and
CPA classifications within the framework of the
ESA-95 system, and harmonised with the UN-
System of National Accounts and the ISIC clas-
sification (EUROSTAT, 2008). In this database,
the Supply table provides the value of core busi-
ness production for each industry, as well as of
secondary productions that are, in the main,
core competences of other sectors. Contextu-
ally, the Supply table provides the value of a
group of homogeneous products (e.g. Agricul-
tural products) supplied to the economy as a
whole by each sector, broken down by the in-
dustries that deliver it as a principal product.
Two annual time series have been utilised: the
first encompasses the 2000-2007 period, and
was compiled using the NACE rev. 1.1 classifi-
cation, while the second has recently been pub-
lished (in 2013) according to the NACE rev. 2
classifications, and contains EU-27 and EA-17
tables for 2008-2009, as well as with data limit-
ed to 12 EU countries for 2010. This study uti-
lises the first series for an inter-temporal com-
parison (2000-2007), and the second series for
an up-to-date evaluation relating to the last
available year (2009).
The study objectives are as follows: 1) to quan-
tify the value of activities included in the Agri-
culture portfolio that are classified by Eurostat
as primary and secondary production, which
pertain to the core business of other industries;
2) to create a Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Growth-Share Matrix in order to verify farmers’
choices and expectations regarding downstream
paths of diversification in the FSC (HENDERSON,
1970); and 3) to evaluate the difficulties facing
Agriculture in its attempt to diversify its port-
folio, and offer suggestions about potential op-
portunities in this regard.
This study utilises the EU-27 Supply matrixes
that reflect the primary characterising and sec-
ondary non-characterising production activities
of industries. Generally, survey results main-
ly concern enterprises with numerous second-
ary activities, and it is the principal activity of
an enterprise that determines its allocation to a
specific industry classification. The columns of
the Supply matrix present the production pro-
gram for each industry, including the output of
its primary and secondary productions. For each
bundle of products listed in the rows (following
CPA classifications), it is possible to find the in-
dustries that produce those goods as their pri-
mary or secondary production listed in the col-
umns. The principal activity or production of an
industry is reported on the diagonal of the Sup-
ply matrix while secondary activities are listed
off the diagonal (EUROSTAT 2008).
For the period 2000-2007, the European ta-
bles, published up to 2012, were using the NACE
rev 1.1 Classification of Economic Activities. Un-
til 2004 the geographical reference was EU-15
countries, and EU-25 or EU-27 thereafter. The
national accounts domain as a whole has imple-
mented the NACE rev 2. Classification of Eco-
nomic Activities (harmonised with UN ISIC rev.
4), and has applied this since the 2008 reference
year. The latest input-output tables were pub-
lished in 2013, and concern the 2008 and 2009
years for EU-27 and EA-17 countries. These ta-
bles have been built on the basis of the new in-
dustry classification.
The first part of this study refers to the activ-
ities (included in the NACE rev.2 classification
under Section A, Division 01) denoted as “Crop
and animal production, hunting, and related ser-
vice activities”, which encompass seven groups,
articulated as follows: 01.1 Growing of non-per-
ennial crops; 01.2 Growing of perennial crops;
01.3 Plant propagation; 01.4 Animal production;
01.5 Mixed farming; 01.6 Support activities to
agriculture and post-harvest crop activities; and
01.7 Hunting, trapping, and related service ac-
tivities. These groups are then further articulat-
ed in 25 classes (EUROSTAT, 2008a). Secondary
activities/productions are all those which are
not included in the above definitions, and which
are appropriately classified under other indus-
tries/groups of products, according to the same
NACE rev. 2/CPA classification.
After having calculated the economic impor -
tance of primary and secondary Agriculture pro-
duction for EU-27 (2009), articulated by the core
competences of industrial sectors, the method-
ology of BCG has been applied. This last con-
sists of the construction of a Growth-Share Ma-
trix (GSM), modified appropriately for the pur-
poses of this study. For EU-27 in the 2000-2007
period (adopting the old NACE rev. 1.1 classifi-
cation), the compound growth rate of each ex-
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014 453
tra-agricultural production (y-axis of the GSM
graph), as well as the logarithm of its share (in
%) of agricultural secondary production (x-ax-
is of the GSM graph), has been calculated for
2007. This is an alternative application of GSM,
since the aim is to establish the position of ag-
ricultural secondary activities in the farmers’
portfolio rather than their competitive position
in the destination market. However, the results
obtained have allowed the classification of Agri-
cultural secondary production under the 4 clas-
sical typologies from left to right on the graph,
being: a) ‘Stars’, which are fast-growing invest-
ments by Agriculture outside its core business
which have a high impact on its secondary activ-
ities. A star might only be cash-neutral, despite
its strong position. Large amounts of investment
may be required to defend their position against
competitors; b) ‘Question Marks’ are fast-grow-
ing investments with low share of Agricultural
secondary production. Substantial net cash in-
put is required to maintain or increase their pro-
duction share; c) ‘Cash cows’, that have a high
secondary production share, but are slow grow-
ing. These should generate substantial cash in-
flows ready for use in other investments; and d)
‘Dogs’, that are secondary productions with low
production share and slow-growing investments
which generally regard mature product in the
final phase of life-cycle. These investments tend
to have a negative cash flow, which is likely to
continue. However, these typologies are only the
result of past investment trends by Agriculture
in specific extra-agricultural activities. They do
not provide indications of a farms’ capability
to successfully develop new strategic paths for
further downstream diversification in its portfo-
lio of secondary products in the FSC. To over -
come difficulties, there is a need for the height
of the entry barriers in the destination markets
to be determined through specific indexes that
are described below. In the literature there are
other barrier indexes, but these are not suita-
ble for the purposes of this study (ORR, 1974;
MANN, 1966). The originality of the Chang in-
dices (compare CHANG and ISEPPI, 2012) is es-
sentially that: (i) each industry/country is com-
pared using a reference system of economic or
geographical average behaviour; (ii) the symme-
try is fundamental: it considers both the insu-
lation ability of each sector in building up entry
barriers, and the invasion ability of other sec-
tors to enter the core business area of the ref-
erence industry; and (iii) it also highlights the
balance between the performance of entry barri-
ers and the invasion ability. These indices have
been applied in order to determine whether the
markets of industries into which Agriculture is
entering and hoping to expand market share
have high or low entry barriers that prevent or
allow penetration. These indices allow for both
an ordering among individual sectors and indi-
vidual countries, and for the investigated phe-
nomena to be measured. For each country (and
for the complex of countries), the Supply ma-
trix is taken by product and by industry. For a
given industry i (n is their number), Pi denotes
the proper production (namely the production
in the industries’ primary field of competence),
Si represents the industries’ secondary produc-
tion in all the remaining group of products, and
Ai is the total secondary production of all the
other industries involved in the core business
of the given industry i. It is necessary to nor-
malise the indexes, specifically:
pi is Pi normalised by (1)
ai = Ai normalised by (2)
si = Si normalised by (3)
The first index is the Chang Entry Barrier In-
The value ranges from -1 to +1. If ai = 0, no
penetration happens, hence the index attains
the maximum +1. The minimum -1 represents
a theoretical case limit in which the entire pro-
duction of an industrial sector is the secondary
of the other sectors.
The second index is the Chang Invasion Index.
This compares the differences between exter-
nal secondary activities and internal (incoming)
secondary activities, and normalises them with
the whole of the balance of secondary activities
for all the sectors.
The Chang Invasion Index is:
(refer also to index 13 in CHANG and ISEPPI,
2011). The index ranges from -1 to 1.
“Of course negative values mean that the
invasion undergone by the industry is greater
than the penetration it performs, 0 (zero) means
balance, positive values mean that it expands
more than it is invaded. Thus the index is not
only connected to entry barriers, but also tied
to the capability or interest to overcome the en-
try barriers of other sectors” (CHANG and ISEP-
PI, 2012).
454 Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014
In the EU-27 whole economy (2009), total do-
mestic production at basic prices amounts to
€22,028.66 billion. Adding imports of €1,465.66
billion and Direct purchases made abroad by
residents, and Subtracting the Cif/fob adjust-
ments on imports, it is possible to obtain a fig-
ure for EU total supply of goods and services of
€23,649.94 billion, including exports. In respect
to domestic production, the percentage share of
primary production, corresponding to the sum
of core business activity of every industry, ac-
counts for 92.6% of the total production, with
a total value of €20,398.84 billion. EU-27 Sec-
ondary production amounts to only €1,629.82
billion, corresponding to 7.4%.
In this context, the industry named by NACE
rev. 2 as “Crop and animal production, hunting,
and related service activities” (hereafter Agricul-
ture) has a total production of €350.42 billion, of
which €327.16 billion pertains to primary pro-
duction (93.36%), and €23.25 billion (6.64%) to
secondary production. As can be seen, the in-
cidence of primary production of the Agricul-
tural Industry is above the EU average (93.36%
vs. 92.6% respectively), whilst the contrary is
the case for secondary production (6.64% vs.
7.4% respectively). This implies that Agriculture
is less able and capable to undertake activities
outside of its core business than the mean for
the economy as a whole. At the same time, the
group of products (CPA), named Products of ag-
riculture, hunting, and related services (here-
after Agricultural Production), derives its total
production from the activities of both Agricul-
ture and all other industries. The value at ba-
sic prices of agricultural products produced by
other industries amounts to only €3.36 billion,
being only 1.02%, of total Agricultural produc-
tion, whilst Agriculture produces the overriding
part (98.98% vs. 92.60% of the whole economy
production). This is a clear signal that agricul-
tural activity is very difficult to undertake, and
that exogenous and endogenous barriers to entry
in the agricultural core business are very high.
In synthesis, EU Agriculture has the potential
to enter the field of primary activity of other in-
dustries, but until now it has not even been able
to achieve the average share of diversification of
the economy as a whole. In the meantime, the
above result demonstrates that entering farm-
ing’s core business is very hard for most firms.
Regarding the diversification of the Agricultur-
al industry, ten groups of products absorb the
major part of its efforts, considering those that
furnish at least 1% of its secondary production
(Table 1). These product groups represent 94.8%
of Agriculture secondary production, whilst the
remaining 55 groups of products together rep-
resent only 5.2%.
The principal fields of secondary activity in
EU-27 Agriculture are Food, beverages, and to-
bacco products, whose value in this field are
worth €15.83 billion, being about 68.1% of farm-
ers’ total Secondary production. This is a sig-
nal that European farms are pursuing an obso-
lete model of downstream vertical integration,
already dismissed by the same manufacturers
who now identify the most lucrative downstream
activities specifically as services provision rath-
er than transformation of raw materials such as
agriculture. This is the profit imperative! (WISE
and BAUMGARTNER, 1999).
Table 1 - Agricultural Industry Secondary and Primary Production in the Supply Chain (EU-27, 2009).
No Code Secondary Products (CPA) Million %
of Agricultural Industry of Euro Share
5 CPA_C10-C12 Food products, beverages and tobacco products 15,830 68.08
36 CPA_I Accommodation and food services 1,265 5.44
27 CPA_F Constructions and construction works 1,178 5.07
51 CPA_N77 Rental and leasing services 981 4.22
29 CPA_G46 Wholesale trade services, except of motor vehicles 967 4.16
and motorcycles
31 CPA_H49 Land transport services and transport services via pipelines 461 1.98
60 CPA_R93 Sporting services and amusement and recreation services 424 1.82
54 CPA_N80-N82 Security and investigation services; services 367 1.58
to buildings and landscape; office administrative,
office support and other business support services
24 CPA_D35 Electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning 339 1.46
40 CPA_J62_J63 Computer programming, consultancy 226 0.97
and related services; information services
Agricultural Industry main elds of activities 22,038 94.78
Other industries < 1% on the Total 1,214 5.22
Total Secondary Production 23,252 100.0
Principal Production 327,163
Total production of Agricultural Industry 350,415
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014 455
Moreover, Agriculture performs downward
vertical integration with some service activities,
but only marginally, and only in the fields in
which it has some sort of traditional experience
either in a conservative frame or in up-to-date
evolution. These activities are: Accommodation
and food services; Rental and leasing services;
Wholesale trade services; Land transport servic-
es and transport services via pipelines; Sporting
services and amusement and recreation servic-
es; Security and investigation services; Services
to buildings and landscape; Office administra-
tive, office support and other business support
services; and Computer programming, consul-
tancy and related services and information ser-
vices. Construction and construction works are
also in the experiential tradition of agriculture,
while the activity of Electricity, gas, steam, and
air-conditioning is a newer field of activity, en-
couraged by strong incentives for Green Energy.
This is the state-of-the-arts Agriculture Portfo-
lio. The above reported activities, considering that
farmers are mainly conservators, are expected to
be considered for further expansion, although the
effects of the economic crisis has lead to a general
contraction that may upset current trends. There
are, however, also innovators among farmers who
are considering going deeper into the SC down-
stream. Like smart manufacturers, they may cre-
ate new business models to capture profits at the
end of the value chain, and to provide steady ser-
vice-revenue by processing, packaging, and mar-
keting commodities and service (Piccinini et al.,
2015). This would allow them to capture a larg-
er share of income in subsequent phases of SC
(HOLLAND and BRUCH, 2010). From the classifi-
cation of the Growth and Share Matrix built on
EU-27 figures for Agriculture in the 2000-2007
period, the composition of its Secondary produc-
tion portfolio results in Fig. 1:
1 - the Food and beverages industry is the
main source of cash flows, having been classified
as a Cash Cow, while still having great potential
as a Star. It is a safe investment, although it is
growing to a lesser extent than other secondary
activities of Agriculture. On the other hand, its
cash flow can provide funds for further invest-
ments, such as in the areas of quality wines for
direct sale, and of luxury farmhouses for rural
tourism (RIZZO and GIUDICE, 2013). It also ap-
pears (Table 2) that the “Food and beverages” in-
dustry has medium-high barriers to entry but
this notwithstanding, it is being invaded by other
industries. The reason could be that this indus-
try is heterogeneous and, especially in the field
of experience goods, niches arise in its market.
This is the case with the invasion of Agriculture
and its quality wines and olive oils;
2 - Land transports, Real Estate and Other
Services are Dogs that Agriculture is now reduc-
ing in its investment plan. Although these are
markets with low barriers to entry and are sub-
Fig. 1 - Growth and Share Matrix of Secondary Production of EU-27Agriculture (2000-07). Source: Authors’ elaboration on
Eurostat data.
456 Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014
ject to being invaded (the former) or heavily in-
vaded (the other two) by new entrants (Table 2),
these activities proceed at much lower costs be-
cause they are operated by well-structured con-
solidated incumbents;
3 - there are no activities in Stars for which
Agriculture should aim to find more Cash Cows
to be milked for future investments;
4 - Question marks are numerous, namely
the investments made by agriculture to diver-
sify its portfolio of assets, which are growing at
a rate higher than average and represent a real
opportunity, albeit at different levels of develop-
ment and portfolio share. Those which deserve
to be examined for their relevance are Hotel and
Restaurant (HOTREST) and Recreational, cul-
tural and sporting services (RECREAT) which
are on the borderline of being Stars as they are
the most dynamic in terms of growth, and it is
upon these that EU agriculture focuses its invest-
ments. HOTREST has low entrance barriers and
a very high predisposition to be invaded; in con-
sequence, Agriculture should have no problems
to further expand its sphere of influence in ru-
ral tourism. RECREAT has, on the contrary, high
barriers to entry and is an invader of other activ-
ities, but Agriculture has the means to circum-
vent these barriers since it possesses land and
infrastructures to develop this type of activities
(CHANG et al., 2013). Among the other Question
marks, namely Rental, Wholesale, Construction,
Retail, Forest, and Other business services, only
the first two have resisted the economic crisis to
remain among the Question marks, while all the
others have slipped down into the Dogs’ domain.
The “real estate bubble” has negatively affected
some secondary activities of Agriculture because
they do not have enough market share to face,
through economies of scale, the challenge of the
incumbent crisis. From 2007 to 2009, the num-
ber of Question marks dropped from 9 to 5, and
this has frozen some agricultural expectations.
The managerial implications of this study are
the following: firstly, it confirms the idea that en-
tering farming’s core business could be very hard
for newcomers. In a stagnant market, high entry
barriers and stability may influence firms, help-
ing them to adopt a long-term viewpoint. This is
the strategic element required to optimise rents
deriving from firms’ market share (RUMELT and
WENSLEY, 1981; WERNERFELT, 1982). Second-
ly, it emerges that EU Agriculture has below av-
erage capabilities to engage in activities outside
of its core business area. Consequently, specific
measures aimed at empowering ancillary busi-
nesses should be adopted. This could be done
by, for example, empowering internal operations
with the implementation of pre and post-sales of
in-farm services in order to familiarise and raise
Table 2 - Classification of the markets in which EU Agriculture performs its Secondary production.
Source: Authors’ elaboration on Eurostat data.
Industries/Groups of products Chang Entry Position of Barriers in the Chang Invasion Position as Invader in the
Barriers EU Economy Index EU Economy Barriers Capacity to
Index Ranking (Quartile) Ranking (Quartile) Invade/ Being invaded
Products of agriculture, hunting and related services 45 I 47 I Very High Strong Invader
Electrical energy, gas, steam and hot water 39 I 52 I Very High Strong Invader
Construction work 22 II -12 IV High Heavily invaded
Recreational, cultural and sporting services 21 II 33 I Medium High Strong Invader
Products of forestry, logging and related services 18 II 2 III Medium High Invaded
Food products and beverages 15 II -4 III Medium High Invaded
Real estate services 0 II -65 IV Medium Low Heavily invaded
Hotel and restaurant services -3 III -28 IV Medium Low Heavily invaded
Land transport; transport via pipeline services -7 III -4 III Low Invaded
Retail trade services, except of motor vehicles -10 III 21 III Low Invader
Other business services -18 III -52 IV Low Heavily invaded
Wholesale trade and commission trade services -27 IV -3 III Very Low Invaded
Other services -33 IV -43 IV Very Low Heavily invaded
Renting services of machinery and equipment -40 IV -65 IV Very Low Heavily invaded
Ital. J. Food Sci., vol. 26 - 2014 457
awareness of new clients about its products, and
deepen their knowledge of existing product-us-
ers respectively.
The final consideration is that if farms, par-
ticularly small and medium-sized, want to devel-
op the scope of their direct sales in Retail, they
must lean on Food, Hotels and Restaurants, and
Recreational Activities, to create integrated pro-
jects to exploit their structures and take advan-
tage of the conveyance of clients in proximity to
wine and agro-tourism farms and to recreational
estates. For example, the structures needed for
the direct sale of goods and services require min-
imal investment and light facilities, and may be-
come customer attractors. An empowered attrac-
tor can be an event marketing centred in rural ar-
eas, representing a fusion of the four groups: food
& wine goods and services, entertainment, and re-
tail trade. This has the advantage of concentrat-
ing the commitment of the farmers on the non-
agricultural field in a short time, and of bringing
a number of new potential customers. As McLu-
han says in regards to these events, ‘the medium
is the message itself’; that is to say, the public es-
sentially requires choral participation, and at the
same time creates business (MCLUHAN, 1964).
The previous analysis indicates that farms, al-
though following a traditional downstream model
of vertical integration, may innovate along new
paths in the mainstream of their secondary ac-
tivities. Transactional resources such as inter -
firm trade contacts (DROLI et al., 2013) could
help Agriculture to leverage highly lucrative mar-
kets in its portfolio such as Food, Hotels, Res-
taurants, and Recreational activities, to set up,
plan, and organise productive business allianc-
es (cooperation in competitive markets, partner-
ship-based objectives, etc.).
This study does not intend to push the anal-
ysis beyond the important aspect of cash flows.
Rather, it creates the necessary framework to
make future investigation possible.
The authors wish to thank Livio C. Piccinini for methodo-
logical suggestions and helpful comments and Sandro Cloc-
chiatti for the collaboration in the construction of the 27 EU
countries complex database.
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Paper received January 15, 2014 Accepted March 21, 2014
... Thus, the effectiveness of this strategy can be evaluated by its ability to increase farmers' income. Vertical integration could improve a farmer's income through differentiation, lower transaction costs, or harvesting added value [39,40]. Whether or not a farmer will be able to engage in vertical integration depends on certain factors, such as processing costs, demand, or risks. ...
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Vertical integration is a means of increasing market power. For some agricultural products, it is easier for farmers to exert control over their product beyond the farm gate, but for others it is more difficult. Cases in the latter category have two main characteristics. First, the farmer cannot sell the respective product to final consumers without processing. Second, processing is capital-intensive. Consequently, farmers have limited sales channels, and vertical integration of the supply chain is complex and challenging. It implies cooperation among farmers to process the raw material at a profitable scale and to finance the installation of processing facilities. Thus, for these product categories, farmers are prone to market power issues, since they depend on private businesses that have the financial means to install processing facilities and the logistical capacities to organize the collection of large amounts of raw material. This paper aims to identify and analyze the role of supply chain integration for farmers who are already cooperating horizontally. Two case studies serve as the basis for the analysis: sugar beet in Flanders, Belgium, and oilseed rape in Hessen, Germany. The analysis is based on a qualitative research approach combining interviews, focus groups, and workshops with farmers and processors. While for sugar beet, the effects of market power are emerging only now with the termination of the quota system, farmers growing oilseed rape have been experiencing these problems since the 1990s. Our analysis concludes that most strategies to maintain or improve farm income have been exhausted. Even various forms of vertical integration supported by European policies do not necessarily work as a successful strategy.
... If a country/region has a steeper trend and a bigger magnitude in MIR, there will be more infections from the disease outbreak than other countries/ regions. The BCG matrix was thus applied to measure the ongoing outbreaks in this study, the type of hospitals in therapeutic duplication for patients with high blood lipids [17], the relative importance of each customer to the company's total profit by segmenting customers into portfolios [37], the smart farms classified in the Supply Chain to supplement the revenues of their underlying product sales [38], and the export competitiveness of Malaysia processed food in the middle east market [39]. ...
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic occurred and rapidly spread around the world. Some online dashboards have included essential features on a world map. However, only transforming data into visualizations for countries/regions is insufficient for the public need. This study aims to (1) develop an algorithm for classifying countries/regions into four quadrants inn GSM and (2) design an app for a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation. Methods We downloaded COVID-19 outbreak numbers daily from the Github website, including 189 countries/regions. A four-quadrant diagram was applied to present the classification of each country/region using Google Maps run on dashboards. A novel presentation scheme was used to identify the most struck entities by observing (1) the multiply infection rate (MIR) and (2) the growth trend in the recent 7 days. Four clusters of the COVID-19 outbreak were dynamically classified. An app based on a dashboard aimed at public understanding of the outbreak types and visualizing of the COVID-19 pandemic with Google Maps run on dashboards. The absolute advantage coefficient (AAC) was used to measure the damage hit by COVID-19 referred to the next two countries severely hit by COVID-19. Results We found that the two hypotheses were supported: India (i) is in the increasing status as of April 28, 2021; (ii) has a substantially higher ACC(= 0.81 > 0.70), and (iii) has a substantially higher ACC(= 0.66 < 0.70) as of May 17, 2021. Conclusion Four clusters of the COVID-19 outbreak were dynamically classified online on an app making the public understand the outbreak types of COVID-19 pandemic shown on dashboards. The app with GSM and AAC is recommended for researchers in other disease outbreaks, not just limited to COVID-19.
... Para diseñar el prototipo SMART-Farm, se comienza identificando las problemáticas y necesidades de la comunidad, capaces de ser abordadas mediante estas tecnologías de sensores y comunicaciones inalámbricas. A continuación, se realiza una revisión del estado del arte de las tecnologías SMART-Farm para uso productivo (Taylor et al., 2013;Chang et al., 2014). Luego se proponen aplicaciones (o tecnologías de sensores) a la comunidad en actividades demostrativas participativas. ...
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El Sistema Micro-red/SMART-Farm basado en un " Modelo Participativo de Innovación Tecnológica para el Desarrollo Local " es una propuesta de innovación tecnológica con una visión social, capaz de fortalecer y consolidar el desarrollo productivo local de una comunidad rural a través de tecnologías de comunicaciones y del abastecimiento energético mediante fuentes renovables. En este artículo se presenta una metodología innovadora para desarrollar el diseño de un sistema tecnológico integrado sobre la base de un modelo participativo, que contempla la evaluación de los recursos solar y eólico para abastecer el consumo residencial en un caso de estudio, correspondiente a la comunidad Mapuche José Painecura Hueñalihuen, IX Región, incluyendo soluciones tecnológicas para realizar la gestión eficiente del agua de riego y monitoreo de ganado entre otras aplicaciones.
... On the contrary, the depletion of the less well-offed bands of the population has led people back on the junk food path. Final results suggest the setting up and the launch of more effective healthy food policies connected with a more consistent food chain (Chang, Droli and Iseppi, 2014). ...
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The purpose of this study is to develop a method to identify the radical changes in the Mediterranean adequacy index (MAI) trend for monitoring and modifying food and prevention policies. The development of a statistical solver demonstrates that the evolution of the MAI over time (1961-2013) in the EU countries, the USA and Japan is at least bi-parted. In most countries, often two successive conflicting tendencies emerge, whose intersection is signaled by a turning point. The framework of the “knowledge-based view” can help determine whether or not the slopes of the new trend are idiosyncratic with WHO objectives to prevent chronic diseases. Sustainably fighting against the rise in coronary heart disease (CHD) requires to incentive both demand and supply of food products Mediterranean-intensive, revealing by solver use the MAI hidden turning-points . This study allows policymakers to improve their planning, prevention and monitoring capabilities through more exact projections concerning both Mediterranean food markets and emerging CHD risks.
... But the best solution is achieved taking a triangle in the interior, and three confining particular irregular figures along the boundary. This plenty of solutions can be compared with economic expansion of activies as shown in (Chang & Iseppi, 2011;Chang et al., 2014) for the optimal central clustering, while in (Chang & Iseppi, 2012) and the linear solution is chosen, even if it seems to be more unstable due to the limited resilience. ...
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The aim of this note is to give some critical examples where even the use of the same clustering rules lead to fuzziness. It starts from poor numerical systems and compares them with the expanded Sergeyev model, where the grossone is used, as an infinite terminal element. It can be compared with terminal elements of the ancient languages, such as the Greek myriad and the Chinese wan. On them some propositions that hold in the arithmetic of the grossone are similar, while they are not meaningful for the countable system of infinity. The note shows that both the upward and downward trend are actually present in human language and in conceptual arrangements. The note then goes on to sketch the model of evolution of Bak-Sneppen, showing two significant applications: the case of the evolution and study of foreign languages and, according to the model of Lloyd, the territorial analysis. In both cases it is highlighted how the Bak-Sneppen model becomes more stable when the universe is segmented, as already proven by the authors in previous works. The third part examines some cases of false probabilistic intuition due to incomplete perception of the phenomena, what could therefore be defined as hidden conditional probability. Interesting is the classic application of the theory of games to lotteries and ternary games, such as Chinese morra.
... Such predisposition becomes extremely representative of the attitude (critical) of consumers in respect of the trade in meat and their derivatives. The centerpiece of the discourse is that to improve the sensitivity to animal welfare is necessary to increase the knowledge of all aspects related to both the productionprocessing and distribution chain and the impacts that large-scale industrial production of meat, milk and animal products can determine on the environment and on the territory ( Chang et al., 2014). ...
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The sensitivity has become a mass phenomenon, still in expansion. The European Commission, during last decade, carried out several surveys on food quality and animal welfare. This research, using data from a survey conducted on 320, respondents and applying the Rasch model on 14 selected questions (items), wants to develop a measure that appears representative of a latent variable defined as 'Sensitivity towards Animal Welfare'. The ability to measure the individual level of this 'Sensitivity' therefore represents an interesting and important result, especially if there are correlations between this variable and other variables characterizing the opinions and habits of individuals, both in general and in relation to consumer decisions.
... The tendency towards the imitation of the neighbor (real or virtual) often acts in the social sciences and economics, leading to differentiation, which is often masked as innovation. Broadening main fields of action in economy can be studied in the context of INPUT-OUTPUT matrices, as was done by Droli et al. in [14] and by Chang et al. in [10] and [11]. The trend towards multi-functionality can also be recognized in the coalescence of territorial structures, as was shown by Taverna et al. in [38]. ...
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Instruction aims at the acquisition of a structured or procedural knowledge and was always torn between a frame of imitation of examples (more or less exhaustive) and a frame of theoretical or conceptual knowledge, exposed more or less systematically. Mathematics has the longest history at the level of its phylogeny, since it built in time many alternating systems of consistent relations, even if they clashed when they had to be mixed and glued together. The mathematical evolution of the individual (ontogeny) is subject to sudden jumps unlike the softer evolution of less structured disciplines. The moments of confrontation between di®erent structures or innovation sparks need time to a®ect the existing structures, both in philogeny and in ontogeny. Bak-Sneppen models of evolution help to understand many social phenomena, especially when voluntary or random competition may hinder the search of optimal individual paths, but at the same time forces development. In mathematics, because of its high developed structure, knowledge waves can hinder comprehension both of pupils and of scholars. The paper discusses some paradoxes where a greater knowledge has proved to diminish e±ciency and capability.
... The Usefulness of the Useless in the Landscape-cultural Mosaic: Liveability, Typicality, Biodiversity 2 to the types and techniques of cultivation and livestock rearing that have important repercussions on already fragile ecosystems and environments (Pilato et al., 2015;Chang et al., 2014). It is evident, therefore, what benefits the increased sales opportunities for quality agri-food productions can bring to the communities concerned. ...
Conference Paper
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The exploitation of quality agri-food products is a central theme in the process of rural development for marginal territories, due to the strong implications they have in terms of positive externalities. In the field of rural policy actions, various measures have been directed at facilitating the distribution and consumption of these productions, for which demand is growing for social and economic reasons. This study intends to examine a measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (sub-measure 321/A1) dedicated to building structures equipped for commercial services destined for market areas, for the commercialisation of typical and local products. The analysis of this measure, in relation to a specific Local Action Group selected as a case study, has enabled the examination of the type of governance adopted for the implementation of paths of regional development that can contribute to the strengthening of a network of relationships functional to the conservation-reproduction of local resources, and to the increasing of the territory's capacity of resilience.
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic occurred and rapidly spread around the world. Some online dashboards have included essential features on a world map. However, only transforming data into visualizations for countries/regions is insufficient for the public need. This study aims to (1) develop an algorithm for classifying countries/regions into four quadrants inn GSM and (2) design an app for a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation. Methods: We downloaded COVID-19 outbreak numbers daily from the Github website, including 189 countries/regions. A four-quadrant diagram was applied to present the classification of each country/region using Google Maps run on dashboards. A novel presentation scheme was used to identify the most struck entities by observing (1) the multiply infection rate(MIR) and (2) the growth trend in the recent seven days. Four clusters of the COVID-19 outbreak were dynamically classified. An app based on a dashboard aimed at public understanding of the outbreak types and visualizing of the COVID-19 pandemic with Google Maps run on dashboards. The absolute advantage coefficient(AAC) was used to measure the damage hit by COVID-19 referred to the next two countries severely hit by COVID-19. Results: We found that the two hypotheses were supported: India (i) is in the increasing status as of April 28, 2021, (ii) has a substantially higher ACC(=0.81>0.70), and (iii) has a substantially higher ACC(=0.66<0.70) as of May 17,2021. Conclusion: Four clusters of the COVID-19 outbreak were dynamically classified online on an app making the public understand the outbreak types of COVID-19 pandemic shown on dashboards. The app with GSM and AAC is recommended for researchers in other disease outbreaks, not just limited to COVID-19.
Agrotourism is the alternative form of Tourism that has an emerging dynamic: entrepreneurs and agro-locals integrate; nature and other capital assets and agro-activities are being exploited; it is inserted in today's travel environment and tourism industry as means of enhancing community development and well-being. The study offers insights on how communicating a workable agro-reality in the context of sustainable agrotourism, social media, collaborative tourism planning, and by integrating the multiple forms of capital (natural, cultural, social, human, political, financial), contributes to an alternative and sustainable tourism development and facilitates the pursuit of the sustainable well-being of the society (human development: the well-being of the person and the agro-community).
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Abstract Through the lens of Resource-Based Theory, this study examines extra-core Food Industry capabilities to diversify its secondary production (heterogeneity) and to overcome entry barriers in destination markets (mobility). Eurostat well-structured database of EU-27 Supply tables is used. The results demonstrate: a) entering Food core business could not be very hard for newcomers; b) EU Food industry has capabilities to undertake activities extra-core business below the average; c) Food industry secondary production is too heterogeneous and distributed over a wide range of activities. This study enlightens productive trends, hypothesizing capability needs and creating the necessary framework for possible further investigations. Keywords: Food Industry, Secondary Productions and Markets, Resource Based Theory, Portfolio Diversification, Capabilities
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Abstract. In this paper, we wish to present some simplified cases of discrete Bak-Sneppen models in which explicit computations via Markov chains are possible, hence reaching a better understanding of some rather hidden phenomena of the general case: in particular "avalanches" can be read in terms of mean waiting times and in terms of transitions between structures. The simple models allow us to introduce new frames that do not seem to have been considered in the previous literature, namely the case of partitioned Bak-Sneppen frames, that appear more realistic from the point of view of speed of evolution and do not present a unique criticality level, but a staircase tending towards a ¯nal equilibrium level, cadenced by an increasing sequence of footholds. The introduction ummarizes Bak-Sneppen models, starting from the central model due to Bak and Sneppen, and recalls their use in applied sciences. The frst section gives the general frame of models where locality and globality coexist, the second section shows the simplest case of a matching between locality and globality, that will become exemplar in the most complex frames of Bak-Sneppen processes. The main quantitative theorems are stated and proved in the third section and finally the fourth section presents examples that illustrate the more sophisticated points of our paper and the use (and limits) of experimental results, while the fifth section considers real world situations where Bak-Sneppen partitioned schemes can be tailored to represent the core of their evolution.
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The search of a hierarchy in economic systems, using triangulation method, has a long tradition in economics. This study, after revisiting Authors' optimization algorithm, based on "path restricted unimodularity", tries to cast new light into the black box of the rules governing the transformation of the economic structure in growth process. The method developed and used by the authors has a very simple code, and, in its enhanced version, even when it does not succeed Inter-temporal, cross-sectional and simulated comparisons have been made on in solving the optimality problem it gives very strict bounds from below and from above for the optimal solution. In the present study the exact solution was reached in 42 cases out of 44, and in the remaining two cases the confidence interval was less than 10 ^4. European Community, Union and Euro Area input-output tables (1965-2007) have been analyzed aiming at verifying above all whether the asymmetrical hierarchy prevailed or not. The main results prove that the agents (branches) work in competition rather than in cooperation, thus the dominance criterion rules inducing asymmetry. Contrary to expectations, the richest Euro Area presents a more hierarchical structure than European Union and is more reactive to any fluctuation of final demand. Also the classical Agribusiness complex, important for investigating new comers, presents a highly inductive triangular arrangement and plays an intermediate function. Moreover, the validity of some scholars' statements about the connections between the level of hierarchical arrangement and the dimension, richness and technological standards have been investigated comparing whole European Union (27 countries) and Euro Area (17 countries) economies. Finally the classical case of Agribusiness complex in its evolution has been deeply studied in view of the development unbalances of new comers (mainly countries from Eastern Europe).
Technical Report
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The present study aims at describing the state-of-play of short food supply chains (SFSC) in the EU understood as being the chains in which foods involved are identified by, and traceable to a farmer and for which the number of intermediaries between farmer and consumer should be minimal or ideally nil. Several types of SFSCs can be identified, for example CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture), on-farm sales, off-farm schemes (farmers markets, delivery schemes), collective sales in particular towards public institutions, being mostly local / proximity sales and in some cases distance sales. Such type of food chain has specific social impacts, economic impacts at regional and farm level as well as environmental impacts translating themselves into a clear interest of consumers. SFSCs are present throughout the EU, although there are some differences in the different MS in terms of dominating types of SFSCs. In general, they are dominantly small or microenterprises, composed of small-scale producers, often coupled to organic farming practices. Social values (quality products to consumers and direct contact with the producer) are the values usually highlighted by SFSCs before environmental or economic values. In terms of policy tools, there are pros and cons in developing a specific EU labelling scheme which could bring more recognition, clarity, protection and value added to SFSCs, while potential costs might be an obstacle. Anyhow, a possible labelling scheme should take into account the current different stages and situations of development of SFSCs in the EU and be flexible enough accommodate these differences. Other policy tools, in particular training and knowledge exchange in marketing and communication, are considered important and should continue to be funded by Rural Development programmes, as well as possibly other EU funds in view of the positive social and not specifically rural impacts.
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This work utilizes Leontief input–output tables to establish, through new appropriate indicators (the new entry barriers and invasion indices), the strategy pursued by some branches of EU countries for diversifying production, so enriching thus the range of their secondary products. Our attention is focused on EU countries strategic perspectives of diversification by vertical integration, regarding in particular the potentiality of the main Agro-food Chain branches: “Agriculture, hunting and related services” and “Food and beverages”. In this context, we deal with the backward and forward linkages that are the expression of Agriculture and Food vertical integration potentialities through their secondary production in the main field of competence (core business) of the other that reaches a total of €55 billion. In this research, we observe some basic elements: (a) EU Agriculture takes advantage from the opportunity to diversify itself by vertical integration in the field of competence of Food and beverage. So Agriculture will ensure higher incomes and vital outlets for its survival. Food industry entry barriers are feeble and can be circumvented. (b) Food and beverages does not want or perhaps is not able to exploit the upstream integration potentiality with Agriculture due to the high entry barriers that the very Agriculture has built to isolate its core business (endogenous barriers) or that it suffers (exogenous barriers). On the contrary, it is not uncommon that Food industry invests in foreign agriculture and becomes involved in intra and extra-EU relocation diversifying itself in a context of multinational vertical integration.
The companies that benefits from the `go downstream' theory are presented. Managing downstream businesses requires looking at new variables such as profit per installed unit, share of customer's total downstream-activity spending and total customer return over the product life cycle. Manufacturer's cannot afford to ignore the opportunities that lie downstream, if they do, the next decade will decade will be even bleaker than the last.
Since the 90s, it is spread that the origin of partnership defined as an innovative tool through which the needs originating from the area compared with the institutional constraints set by national and European polices maker. This represents a new way of development that is based on the plan between political institutions closer to real issues and trade associations accepted as representatives of civil society. In this work, through Social Network Analysis (SNA) techniques, dynamic local development in the "Compresorio Val d'Anapo" area (Syracuse, Italy) is studied, in order to identify tools and key moments of local partnership as a form of territorial governance. The results, as well as a first "map of relationships" existing in the area, show the ability and the interest of local actors to organize themselves in forms of socio-economic Partnership, representing the economic and social interests of the targeted area, have played a key role in programming of resources.